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I have been making tortillas using a gluten free flour blend. My family liked these corn tortillas better. They have fewer ingredients and are easier to make because of it.
I plan to make the homemade corn tortillas. I love how simply you explain everything and provide all of the pictures. Thank you SO much! Hazel Hamilton
Used Bob’s Red Mill Masa harina. The dough turned out nicely, however the tortilla press I have pressed dough to about 2 mm thickness. I wonder if that’s what to blame for the fact that my tortilla didn’t puff up? They turned out tasty but thick and dry. I also used boiling-hot water. Thanks for any tips!
Hi, Elena! You know it’s tough to say without actually being there. My first thought is if they were dry you may just need to add a little more water. As far as the puffing is concerned I would just make sure your griddle is hot enough. You need a hot, hot pan for the tortillas to puff. If all else fails, you could also try a different brand of Masa Harina, and see if you get different results. Some things are just trial and error until you get the feel for making them. Good luck!
THANKS for this! I have been wanting to ask one of the ladies from church how to do this, but i was aware it was so simple that it would make me look like an ignorant rabi blanco. Now, I’ve got a chance to practice in private!
If you are unable to obtain masa harina, here is how you can make your own:
Thanks for the detailed instructions. I added a pinch of salt to the dough. Didn’t have a tortilla press. Used skillet and cut out plastic bag to flatten initially and then rolling pin to get fairly thin. The tortilla peeled off very easily off the plastic wrap. I’ll admit I have practice rolling out and handling Indian wheat dough rotis. So these were no problem. I cooked on a cast iron griddle, on medium high heat. But mine didn’t get the dark brown charred marks as in the picture above. Will try higher heat next time. They puffed all the way up. Again because of the roti background I also tend to measure success by whether or not it puffs up all the way.
Made these again today to go with smoky black bean soup. Remembered that last time they were a tad dry, so I added a little more water than the 1:1 ratio on the masa harina bag (Minsa). Maybe 2.25 C water for 2 C flour. Kneaded well for 5 minutes. The tortillas came out thin, soft and puffed well. I cooked them directly on the flame at the end, to get slight char marks. Yummy!
For those looking for tricks to get them to puff – 1) put tortilla on a hot griddle 2) watch for color change on top side – goes from a white raw look to a slightly darker cooked color. Takes about 20 secs. 3) Flip and let sit undisturbed for another 20-30 seconds. Some puffing should start. If not, turn up heat more. Once a puff covers about a third of the tortilla, gently press on the puffed part with a spatula or wadded up dishcloth, to encourage the steam into unpuffed areas. If heat is enough, dough is wet enough and tortilla is rolled evenly, it should puff all the way around. Sometimes, I flip a second time to encourage puffing. I think I do that if it feels like the first side didn’t cook enough.
Dang. Recipe works, but the trick is removing the pressed, uncooked tortilla from the wax paper. Even if successful in that endeavor, it has to transfer (sticky a bit) from my hand to the skillet flat and round…and I’m successful only about 30% of the time. Watering my hands? Spraying oil on the wax paper?
Probably best to hire some Mexican grandma!
Hi Chris, it’s easiest to use plastic from a large freezer bag. Works better than wax paper.
If it’s sticking you’re either pressing too hard OR it’s too wet of a dough.
I am failing miserably at making these! The dough sort of resembles wet sand, so I add a little water …now it’s too sticky. I went back and forth adding more water, then more masa until it looked alright. But when I tried forming the tortillas they just crumbled and stuck everywhere.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Tips would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Karin, these can be tricky, especially the first attempt or two. In fact, when I haven’t made them for a while it always takes me half a batch to get the hang of it again. Once you get the proportions right where it’s not too sticky and not too dry, then massage the dough with your hands for about 5 minutes. The more you knead it, the more pliable it should become. That will help a lot!
Perfect! This is my second time trying to make tortillas- the first time I used a different recipe and was only moderately successful. This recipe, with Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina and a tortilla press, made gorgeous tortillas! Thank you.
“Hi Anita, calcium hydroxide is formed by mixing limestone with water”
Just for the record, limestone is first heated to above 825 degrees C to drive off the carbon dioxide. This leaves a product known as “quicklime”. The quicklime is then carefully treated with water (a process that evolves lot of heat causing boiling and spattering) to give “lime” or “slacked lime” which is used by masons when preparing mortar for laying bricks.
The slaked lime is a strongly alkaline substance that is used to remove the hulls from kernels of maize (corn) as a preliminary step in the preparation of masa for masa harina.
It is interesting to note that the very alkaline slaked lime also reacts with some of the fats in the maize to give small amounts of a calcium soap. This calcium soap is what gives corn tortillas made from masa harina a very special pleasant taste. Tortillas made from simple corn flour (made by grinding untreated maize) do not have this special taste.
I just made these! They weren’t as pretty as yours, but only half made it to the lunch table. The other half were gobbled up by family members as soon as I got the tortillas off the griddle! Absolutely wonderful – it was so fast and easy that I can’t go back to store-bought. Thank you!
I have great success using a plastic grocery bag (think wal-mart bag). I cut it a little larger than the press and it works wonderfully.
I don’t have a tortilla press, but found that I can make excellent tortillas using a heavy plastic sandwich bag. Just slit the bag on the sides, so you have two pieces of heavy plastic that fold over on each other. Put the ball of masa dough between them, and press out with a rolling pin. Easy! The tortilla peels off the plastic cleanly. Can even wash it off and reuse.
When you buy packaged corn tortillas they are in a stack with nothing in between each tortilla. Does anyone know how they are cooked to achieve this? I’d like to freeze a few homemade tortillas like I do with packaged, but I’m not sure how to do it.
They are cooked separately and then stacked together when packaged. As for freezing homemade tortillas, you may have better luck if you put a paper towel between each one, and then wrap the whole thing in an airtight package. That way you can just pull one out easily to defrost. ~Elise
When I put the tortillas on the hot griddle they shrink from 5″ in diameter down to about 3″ in diameter. I use corn tortilla mix and have a metal tortilla press. What am I doing wrong? Thanks
That’s bizarre. They shouldn’t shrink at all. Perhaps it’s the mix you are using. ~Elise
I am originally from New Mexico and love corn tortillas–living in Spain and can’t find masa harina here…does anyone know where I can find it or if there may be an alternative name for it in this corner of the world–be nice to make some tacos
Anyone know how to get masa harina in Sweden, or tortillas already pressed and warmed (like they sell in the stores in California)?
I use a clean produce bag from the grocery store. I just cut it at the sides and place that on my wooden press. I learned this from an old Mexican senora who brought my press from Michoacan. I also use 1 and 1/2 cups masa and 1/2 a cup white flour. She also taught me to press the tortilla with my fingers after I turned it. Where she is from, if the tortillas don’t puff up when they are turned, they are inferior!
I tried it, MUY EXCELENTE!
I used masa in a bag just like in the picture, different brand is all. I used a little of the masa to “flour” my hands to work the dough and form the balls. Flattening it was the best part of this fun experiment, I borrowed a friend’s rolling pin but I ended up using a really neat, easy method: Take a gallon-size ziploc bag and cut the Ziploc side and the two sides off, so you end up with a nice piece of flat plastic with a crease so it opens and closes like a book. Use a little butter or oil, lard, etc to oil up the plastic a little, now the dough won’t stick at all. Put your dough ball down on the plastic and close the other half down on it then just squish flat with a saucepan. You can look, and feel, if you’re getting it flat enough all around. Peel away the top, then lay the tortilla on your hand and peel away the back. Gently flop the tortilla onto your hot, greased, pan. re-oil the plastic for each one. Learn to gently poke the tortilla with your spatula to tell when it’s done, it will have a little bit of spring to it. I used a large Pyrex bowl with a pot lid on top for an improvised tortilla steamer. I put two paper towels on the bottom and two on top.
Unfortunately my friend didn’t want to eat tortillas, although he told me they’re up to the standard of a Mexican restaurant here we rave about. I had to eat 15 of them! The final six, I made an egg frittata, with chopped garlic in it and adobo seasoning, cut that in 6 pieces, and put a piece in each tortilla with some Sriracha sauce for tongue-burning goodness.
I would love to see corn tortillas replace pancakes, and a bunch of other things in the US. Viva tortillas!
Is that a homemade tortilla press? I’ve never seen a wood version. Finally found one at an antique store to give my fiancée last christmas. We love it! Our comal is looking a little sad — might need to search for a new one soon.
Hi Heather, nope, I bought it at a local Mexican market. Bought a couple of them actually. ~Elise